Library Juice 2:49 - December 29, 1999


2. Etoy vs. Etoys
3. The Smoking Gun
4. Steve Cisler's article in First Monday on the WTO events
5. "The Revolution Starts Here"
6. Online Video from Seattle
7. PERFECTLY SAFE TO EAT? The Facts on Food (book)
8. Images of American Radicalism (book)
9. "Irreligion" subject heading
10. Strike at the BDIC library, Nanterre
11. Electronic Resources Review seeking reviewers
12. Innovative Internet Applications in Libraries (website)
13. Electronic Green Journal, issue 11 now online
14. Mark Rosenzweig's post-Xmas message to ALA Council
15. True Library Christmas Story
16. The Last P.U.-litzer Prizes Of The 20th Century
17. Tracking Y2K events
18. _Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General_
20. Snow Crystals

Quote for the week:

"Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just
persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information."
-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Home page of the week: Mita



Dec. 27

Dear Readers,

If all goes as planned, the enhanced Librarians' Index to the Internet
will be online next week. We have our own domain name and our new address
is It works now, but redirects you to the old version.
Next week you should see the new version.

Best to all in the new year,

Carole Leita

2. Etoy vs. Etoys

Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 13:05:56 -0500
From: Chuck0 <chuck[at]>
To: librarians[at]
Subject: Intellectual property run amuck

For those of you who are creative types, or just library workers who
hate this intellectual property nonsense, you should check out the
ongoing battle between and The former sells toys and
the latter is an online art site. Well, the latter was an online art
site until managed to get NSI to pull their domain.

Funny thing is that was online years before there was an, either online or off. So, here's another example of how
intellectual property protects the rich and not necessarily the artists.

More info online at:

My question is: If NSI pulls domains that are under dispute, why haven't
they pulled too?


3. The Smoking Gun

The Smoking Gun brings you exclusive documents -- cool, confidential,
quirky -- that can't be found elsewhere on the Web. Using material
obtained from government and law enforcement sources, via Freedom of
Information requests, and from court files nationwide, we guarantee
everything here is 100% authentic. The Smoking Gun is a Pierre Salinger-
free zone.

4. Steve Cisler's article in First Monday on the WTO events

Date:         Wed, 15 Dec 1999 08:47:56 -0800
From: cisler <cisler[at]POBOX.COM>
Subject:      WTO in Seattle, Washington

I spend some time in Seattle covering the recent World Trade Organization
events, and I hung out with people from Seattle involved in community
networking and  librarians from British Columbia who represented IFLA and
the Canadian Library Association.

I published the artcle on that week in First Monday. It's entitled
"Showdown in Seattle: Turtles, Teamsters, and Tear Gas"

There are quite a few pictures, and if that prevents you from accessing it,
please write me, and I'll mail you the ascii text. Though the events were
low on the average American's radar, people in other countries were much
more aware (and interested) in the policy issues, rather than the violence
that took place.

Steve Cisler

5. "The Revolution Starts Here"

"WTO Seattle"
Video is in four parts: "The Revolution Starts Here" - Through cinema
verité you become one of the peaceful protesters on the streets of Seattle,
and experience in real-time the pepper gassing and concussion bombing,
demonstrators herded and badgered by the police. An unforgettable
experience of a real police state; "Get Past the Costumes" - Construction
workers chat with topless dykes on the theme of class solidarity, the
episode becoming a positive humanistic antidote to the 'jackboot' world of
police repression; "Testifying" - A charming middle-class Seattle woman
finds herself in the midst of a 'sixties flashback' when she runs into the
demonstration downtown; "Why the Talks Collapsed" - Professor David Ranney
of the University of Illinois/Chicago Center for Urban Studies discusses
some aspects of why things fell apart for the WTO.

Video (total 4 parts) is 27 minutes. $20 check or money order to: Labor
Beat, 37 S. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60607.

6. Online Video from Seattle

Direct Action
Headline News *

If you would like to feature the Direct Action Headline News as a regular
"TV Channel" on your web site, simply add the following link:

Net visitors can watch each new video installment in real time without even
leaving your site.

Thanks to the tireless work of video activists at the Independent Media
Center in Seattle and studio volunteers in Chicago, the Direct Action Media
Network is pleased to launch its premiere of the Direct Action Headline News.

The focus of this first edition, "The Battle in Seattle," where some 85,000
activists (police reports) shut down the World Trade Organization.

The Direct Action Headline News is a regular television news service of the
Direct Action Media Network [], and is  distributed on
the Internet, Cable TV, and soon, via Satellite in cooperation with Free
Speech TV.

For more information on how you can contribute reports, please contact:

Rachel Rinaldo

Robert Wyrod

* Special Thanks go out to Jay at for making this happen.

7. PERFECTLY SAFE TO EAT? The Facts on Food (book)

The Women's Press - London

Published  - January 13th 2000

ISBN  -  0 7043 4641 9

pp 320

This is a book which covers the current concerns about
food, farming, & the environment. It covers all of the
'products' what we ( as consumers ) worry about -  the food
chain from pesticides & GM crops, to high sugar & salted
'foods',  salmonella & BSE,  not to mention all of our other
related concerns.

This is a book that is very topical, as it very much gives a
current 'state of play' about just what the British Food
Industry is doing right now.

The book might also be summed up by 3 of its chapter
' The right ingredients'
' The fearful consumer'
' Changing the menu'

The book has a very comprehensive list of campaigning
organisations in it - for Example:
The Soil Association,
Vegetarian Society,
Pesticides Trust,
Susstain: the alliance for better food and farming,
Consumers Association,
etc, etc.

There is also a very useful list of current periodicals, &
recently published books. The footnotes are very
compressive too.

This is not only a book for campaigners, but for all who are
concerned about just what they are putting into their

Martyn Lowe

8. Images of American Radicalism (book)

IMAGES OF AMERICAN RADICALISM, the quintessential labor art book, is back
in print!  Just in time for the holidays!  Your last chance this century!

$60hdbk/$40 pbk and worth every penny.  Over 450 pages crammed with
hundreds of images and text by Paul Buhle.  To order contact:

9. "Irreligion" subject heading

Discussion from librarians[at]

On Fri, 17 Dec 1999, Earl Lee (ewayne[at] wrote:

> I was cataloging a new book on Derrida and saw, for the first time, the
> use of the subject heading "Irreligion"  ...  I much pefer the heading
> "Freethought," as people may actually look for this s.h.
> The only people who find this will be the ones looking for books on
> Irrigation!

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 10:45:39 -0500 (EST)
From: Katia Roberto <kroberto[at]>
To: librarians[at]
Subject: Re: new sh

This is actually *not* a new subject heading (go figure)...
according to LC's authority file, it's been around since the late '80s
or so.

Wanna see?

010     sh 85068280 
040     DLC c DLC d DLC
005     19880818143256.1
150     Irreligion
450     Non-belief
450     Unbelief
550     Religion w g
550     Atheism
680     i Here are entered works dealing with a condition of complete
absence of religion.

Or something.

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

From: Diana Hagan <dihagan[at]>

I don't know..  Can you be irreligious without being a free thinker, or a
free thinker without being irreligious?  Were it me, I might think about
adding "Free thought" to the record.  It seems both terms are biased and
which term a patron would use would depend on their own attitudes. "Free
thought" might also more specifically apply to a certain variety of


..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

From: "Andrew H. lee" <leea[at]>

I think it sounds particularly clunky and will not come easily to
those searching without the (questionable) benefit of an LC
subject thesaurus.

We face the problem everyday because of the stupid subject
headings LC has for political ideologies.  Compared to computer
programs, business, and science, why are the terms for political
and social movements so limiting?  Why should works by Godwin,
Bakunin, Kropotkin, Stirner, Goldman, and all be lumped under
"anarchism" when we know that this would be the equivalent of
putting Muhammed, Moses, Jesus, and Budha under "religion"  I
think subject headings are a prime example of the way LC reflects
the conservative dominant culture and keeps people from learning
about alternatives...

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

 Yes you can be a free thinker and still be religious.  Think of
the Unitarians.

Andrew Poultridge

10. Strike at the BDIC library, Nanterre

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 15:18:28 +1100
To: librarians[at]
From: pmargin[at] (Steve Wright)
Subject: strike at the BDIC library, Nanterre

The appeal below was circulated yesterday on the redditolavoro
(income/work) Italian-language list.

Staff at the Bibliotheque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine at
the University of Nanterre in France have been on strike since 6 December.
This is in protest at the arrangement which keeps a third of them, across
all levels and functions, in a state of insecure employment. While I
imagine all shows of support would be much appreciated, the strikers seem
especially keen that those members of 'the international scientific
community' familiar with their library sign the appeal below, which
concludes as follows:

"We deplore a situation of unjustified inequality, which expresses in a
crude manner the tendency towards casualisation present in the sphere of
work, and moreover damages the library's scientific mission. We support the
staff in their demand for an urgent plan to reabsorb the casual employees."

The strikers give the following e-mail contact address:

Labdic.en greve[at]

(that space looks a bit odd to me, but anyway . . .)


11. Electronic Resources Review seeking reviewers

Electronic Resources Review, an electronic journal published by MCB
University Press, is looking for reviewers. The journal's target audience is
academic libraries. It reviews materials published in electronic form
(CD-ROM, floppy disk, or on the Internet/WWW) particularly appropriate for
academic libraries. Each review generally runs between 600 and 1000 words
but can be shorter or longer depending on the nature of the product and its
importance for the target audience.

For more information on Electronic Resources Review, visit our information
page at:

We are looking for reviewers particularly of web sites. Candidates would be
expected to write one review every other month, on average.

Interested candidates should apply to the Editor at the following address
(e-mail preferred):

Sarah L. Nesbeitt, Editor (effective April 2000)
Electronic Resources Review
Maxwell Library, Bridgewater State College
Bridgewater, Massachusetts  02325  USA
snesbeitt[at] <mailto:snesbeitt[at]>
Ph: (508) 531-6153
Fx: (508) 531-6103

12. Innovative Internet Applications in Libraries (website)

Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 22:23:57 -0500
To: rory[at]
From: Kathy Leeds <kcleeds[at]>
Subject: Innovative Internet Applications in Libraries

I have recently taken over the management of Innovative Internet
Applications in Libraries and its new address is

Intended primarily for the library community, Innovative Internet
Applications is a sampling of new and interesting uses of the Web by public,
corporate, academic, and school libraries.  The project (begun in 1995 by
Ken Middleton and more recently managed by Janet Foster) has sought to
provide best practice models of both traditional and non-traditional library
service provision using Internet technology. 

Suggestions for new links are welcomed in categories from interactive
readers advisory to personalized interfaces to virtual reference and local
database creation and access.  Innovations may involve either form or
content or both.

Would you consider mentioning it on your site?

Kathy Leeds
Kathy Leeds <kcleeds[at]>
             Assistant Director
       Wilton Library Association

13. Electronic Green Journal, issue 11 now online

Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 14:58:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Maria Anna Jankowska <majanko[at]>

December 22, 1999

Dear Friends of the EGJ,

The Electronic Green Journal, issue 11 is now online
Please, take a look at its a "new face" and a new URL address.

This time we published an editorial, two papers, two essays, one update,
two columns, and eleven reviews. In publishing this issue, many thanks
should go to Terry Link for his editorial, Bill Johnson for the new column
and book review, Greta for her update to the article from issue 7, Flora
Shrode for the her enduring column, and Irwin Weintraub for his book
review. Special appreciation to Ron Force for assigning some funds to help
in redesigning the graphical appearance of the Journal.  Acknowledgment is
due to all board members reviewing and proofreading the articles, and to
Bill Kerr for mastering the issue on the Web.

Special recognition should go to our former managing editor, Mike
Pollastro, for his work on the EGJ since 1995, and we welcome Bill Johnson
as a new managing editor. For the time being, Bill is working on including
the EGJ into printed and online indexes. At this point, the PAIS has
started indexing the journal from issue 8, 1998, and General Science Index
and Biological & Agricultural Index has also begun indexing
EGJ. Environmental Abstracts, CAB International, and the Environmental
Knowledgebase produced by the International Academy at Santa Barbara are
still reviewing our case.  As far as online databases are concerned, the
EGJ was included in the UNESCO Social Sciences full text periodical
and the Columbia Earthscape on-line resources for the Earth and
environmental sciences

In August of 1999, we issued a call for papers for the Earth Day 2000
issue.  The theme for this issue is Environmental Information: Historical
and Futuristic Perspectives.
Moving ahead on this special issue of the EGJ, please let me know what you
can contribute to it.

As 2000 quickly approaches and the EGJ carries its mission into a new
century, I wanted to send you a special greeting.  I look forward to our
continued collaboration and wish you a festive holiday season and a
delightful New Year.

>From the bottom of my heart,

General Editor, Electronic Green Journal
University of Idaho Library, Rayburn Street, Moscow, ID  83844-2350
voice: (208) 885-6631  fax: (208) 885-6817

14. Mark Rosenzweig's post-Xmas message to ALA Council

Date: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 01:51:41 -0500
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4104] Christmas message

After several weeks of being bombarded by Christmas songs proclaiming
"Christ the Lord" in every restaurant, mega-bookstore, public plaza, I have
to admit - yes, it finally got to me.

It succeeded in making me feel like a complete outsider, an utter alien, in
a Christian country, even as I was shopping for Christmas gifts. I suddenly
realized, remembered, with some alarm that the only thing between me and
total disenfranchisement is the Constitutional guarantee of the separation
of Church and state. And that particular doctrine is increasingly - and
more and more successfuly - under attack.

I like the gift-exchanging and good cheer of the Christmas season as much
as the next fellow. I like the smell of Christmas trees and the sparkling
lights and hanging decorations. But I must say, as Christmas day is in
its early hours, that I hope libraries and librarians and librarianship
remain sensitive to what is implicit in the fact that Christmas appears an
overwhelming affirmation of particular faith as if it were a national
religion not all of us share, declaring itself with an intensity which
makes some of us feel negated, utterly alienated and vulnerable. And then
the upcoming Millennium, which is the marking wha is considered by some to
be the 2000th year since the  birth of Jesus...

What this reminds me of - and this is why I write you this morning - is the
disturbing trend of librarians accepting the doctrine that public libraries
should reflect "community standards". The tyranny of such standards means,
I suppose,that in Kansas, where the teaching of evolution as science has
been outlawed, the libraries should, perhaps,in keeping with community
standards, weed out the Darwin and Huxley, and purchase as much creationist
literature as possible. Where abortion is unpopular, libraries should
reflect that. Where homosexuality is not considered in keeping with
so-called community standards, we should reflect that as well.

The most vocal proponents of community standard are those who feel they
represent the so-called "christian values" of real, red-blooded Americans.
If the community is a majority of Christians, well, the rest of the folks
be damned: the library's collection and activities and services and
policies are going to reflect the dominance of the largest and loudest
group. So-called "christian values" proclaim themselves as synonymous with
community values.

I hope, in this New Year and new century, librarianship  reaffirms,
reclaims, its role of active public, community leadership and education in
defense of the Bill of Rights, of intellectual freedom and the separation
of church and state. It's difficult to do this, I know, when libraries are
under attack.

But the attacks on libraries have to be seen as part and parcel of the
attack on WHAT LIBRAIANSHIP STANDS FOR: the values of choice, of free
thought and free expression, of cultural diversity, of enlightenment.
Modern public libraries exist to be institutions which precisely are NOT
determined by "community standards" but by a commitment to higher, less
parochial,  more universal principles. We have to be able to promote that
as a public good, as a cause, as a valuable service to a democratic
society. We are not around to reflect community standards;  community
standards is the watchword of all those who would impose a sectarian
uniformity on society. We are precisely about actively encouraging critical
thinking, debate, skepticism, pluralism, the joys of the free indulgence in
the expansive world of creative literature.

I hope we don't, in our struggle to survive, forget why it is we have to
survive, why we are necessary.

Its because public libraries are among the few public institution which
embody, at their best, a universal community of ideas and dialogue and
criticism and exploration. Let's not accept the idea that so-called
community standards define the limits of that larger, democratic community.

Now I'll go and see what Santa has left me under the tree.


Mark Rosenzweig

15. True Library Christmas Story

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 10:48:05 -0700
From: Dan Lester <dan[at]>
Subject: True Library Christmas Story

This is all true, and happened very recently.  Bovill is a small town in
North Idaho.  It used to have a sawmill.  It is trying to survive.

Happy holidays to all.


I have a heart-warming story, just in time for Christmas. The community of
Bovill has been working on renovating a Catholic church, turning it into a
library for the past several years. Last July was the ribbon-cutting and
grand move into the facility. Computer connections have been a continual
pain in the neck since that time. But it isn't unusual for Sue Hotinger,
the Branch Supervisor, to give tours since the entire project has been a
source of pride for everyone in the little rural town.

Last fall Sue noticed a woman, parked on the highway in front of the
library who was taking a picture. Sue invited her in, showed her around,
and thought no more about it. Last week a large package arrived in the
mail, with 10 hardback picture books and the poem (that's below). The name
of Catherine is the only clue to her benefactor.

A Tale for the Millennium 1999

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the town,
The people were sad
For their Mill had closed down.

The families were poor,
They could not buy a car.
The men were inclined
To get drunk in a bar.

The town had a church
With a beautiful steeple.
On Sundays it used to be
Filled with the people.

But now it was closed
Boarded up and locked tight
And nobody came
In the day or the night.

The souls of the church
Began to feel ill.
The town they had loved
Was going downhill.

"We must act" they all said
And they called a big meeting.
So many souls came
There was not enough seating.

Our people need help,
They need guidance and hope.
They need dreams and ambitions
To stop this steep slope.

Let's start with our church,
Our desire is burning,
Let's transform our church
To a building for learning.

The souls searched the town
For one wealthy man,
"Build us a library
As quick as you can."

The man raised his children
In this little town.
The library was built,
He did not let them down.

One day there were workers
Who came to the church.
They hammered and nailed
And climbed up on a perch,

To remake the old church,
Build ramps and safe stairs
So the people could enter
Even those in wheelchairs.

I came for a visit
One day in November,
A photo to take
And the church to remember.

I'd taken my picture
And started to leave
When a gentle young hand
Pulled at my sleeve.

"This is our library,"
The young woman said.
"Would you like to come in?"
I, of course, shook my head.

Where the altar had been
There now was a table
With picture books waiting
For any child able

To read or hear stories,
To hope and to dream,
To find the ambition
To make the town gleam,

To challenge their parents
To the library to come,
To learn of new job skills
To help everyone.

In front were computers
But the young woman sighed,
"I can't get them working,
I've tried and I've tried."

The souls were dumbfounded,
"We can't help," they said.
Computers were made
After they had been dead.

The souls are still searching,
I happen to know,
For a computer mechanic
To make them all go.

I glanced at the walls,
At the shelves took a look.
Some shelves were empty,
They needed a book.

A soul flew beside me
And whispered your name,
A good book from Mark
Our library should claim.

I wasn't so sure
But a soul won't be stopped.
The next thing I knew
In the bookstore I shopped.

"Twas The Night Before Christmas"
Was given for you.
I hope you approve this,
The children will too.

This day before Christmas
All through the town,
The people are happy,
They're moving up and not down.

This night before Christmas
At the town take a look.
Some parents are reading
Their children YOUR book.

From Catherine

Betsy Bybell
Branch Coordinator, Latah County Library
110 S. Jefferson, Moscow ID 83843
208-882-3925, fax 208-882-5098
email: bbybell[at]

Good, Fast, and Cheap: Which two of the three would you like?
Dan Lester, 3577 East Pecan, Boise, ID 83716 USA 208-383-0165

16. The Last P.U.-litzer Prizes Of The 20th Century

By Norman Solomon

P.U.-litzer Prizes recognize some of America's stinkiest media performances.
Each year, I work with Jeff Cohen of the media watch group FAIR to sift
through hundreds of deserving entries. The competition is always fierce. But
only an elite few can walk off with a P.U.-litzer.

Here are the eighth annual P.U.-litzer Prizes, for the foulest media
achievements of 1999:

--PRE-PRE-FEMINIST PRIZE -- CNN's "Larry King Live"
When Larry King hosted a segment about potential senatorial candidate
Hillary Clinton on June 1, the discussion took political analysis to new
depths. One panelist commented: "She has a bad figure. She's bottom heavy
and her legs are short." Another expert added: "I don't know one good thing
about her. She's got fat -- her legs are too short, her arms are too
long.... If your legs are too short, how do you evolve?" The panelists did
not find time to discuss the anatomy of Clinton's likely GOP opponent,
Rudolph Giuliani.

On Dec. 13, when "All Things Considered" host Wertheimer interviewed a Time
magazine reporter about videos made by the two teens who massacred people at
Columbine High, she expressed amazement: "You say in the article in Time
that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were steeped in violence and drained of
mercy. How could that be? I mean, they were middle-class children that had
lots of advantages; they had nice parents."

--"INOFFENSIVE INTEGRITY" AWARD -- Viacom Chair Sumner Redstone
Speaking in October at a celebration in China, where Redstone hopes to
expand business operations, the media mogul cautioned international news
outlets about irritating sensitive governments. "Journalistic integrity must
prevail in the final analysis," he advised. "But that doesn't mean that
journalistic integrity should be exercised in a way that is unnecessarily
offensive to the countries in which you operate." Weeks before this warning,
Viacom announced plans to acquire CBS, thereby becoming the boss of CBS News

The day after Viacom -- the movie, cable TV and publishing powerhouse --
announced plans to purchase CBS and become the third-largest media
conglomerate in the world, the New York Times devoted seven articles to the
proposed takeover. But there was no space to quote a single critic about the
threat to consumers or to democracy posed by this concentration of media
power. There was room, however, for quotes from various upbeat Wall Street
analysts, and for a reporter's reference to the bygone era of the 1970s: "In
those quaint days, it bothered people when companies owned too many media

On April 5, network TV convened panels of experts to discuss the war on
Yugoslavia. Viewers could see hawkish Sen. John McCain at 9 p.m. on CNN's
"Larry King Live," at 10 p.m. on Fox News Channel, at 11 p.m. on PBS's
Charlie Rose show and at 11:30 p.m. on ABC's "Nightline" with Ted Koppel.
The senator's whereabouts between 10:30 and 11 p.m. could not be determined.

--"ANCHORS AWAY TO WAR" PRIZE -- Fox News Channel and PBS "NewsHour With Jim
Lehrer" (Tie)
On March 24, about an hour before the first NATO missiles struck Yugoslavia,
viewers heard a Fox News Channel anchor make an understandable slip: "Let's
bring in our Pentagon spokesman -- excuse me, our Pentagon correspondent." A
more scripted demonstration of journalistic independence came later in the
war, when "NewsHour" anchor Margaret Warner introduced a panel: "We get four
perspectives now on NATO's mission and options from four retired military

Days before the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle, the news
director at the city's ABC television affiliate released a statement that
promised to manage the news appropriately: "KOMO 4 News supports coverage of
the critical issues raised by the conference, including legal protests, but
will not devote coverage to irresponsible or illegal activities of
disruptive groups. KOMO 4 News is taking a stand on not giving some protest
groups the publicity they want."

--TAKE-IT-ON-FAITH AWARD -- Michael Kinsley
In a Time magazine essay, Kinsley -- who works for two of the planet's most
powerful communications firms, Microsoft and Time Warner -- sought to
persuade readers that the World Trade Organization is a fine institution,
despite protests. Kinsley's Dec. 13 piece ended with these words: "But
really, the WTO is OK. Do the math. Or take it on faith."
Norman Solomon's latest book is "The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media."

                             (212) 633-6700
                          E-mail: fair[at]

17. Tracking Y2K events

Y2K Global Status Watch
International Y2K Cooperation Center

Will Y2K be a big yawner or the end of the world as we know it?
Either way, users can keep track of worldwide events via this site
(provided, of course, they have power and a working phone line).
Created by the International Y2K Cooperation Center, the Global
Status Watch will serve as a central source for country-specific
information on Y2K and infrastructure status. Other governments and
the general public can visit the site during the date rollover to
view a country summary Webpage which will show the status of all
reporting countries and when the information was submitted. The
summary page will also offer links to each country's individual
report and its national Y2K Webpage. The country summary will be
available beginning December 28 and continuing into January as long
as needed. A selection of additional Y2K resources is available at
the International Y2K Cooperation Center homepage, including surveys,
a calender, Y2K coordinator contact information, conference
proceedings, and tools and templates. [MD]

> From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1999.

18. _Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General_ [.pdf]

Released on December 13, the first Surgeon General's report on mental
health reveals that nearly half of all Americans who have a severe
mental illness fail to seek treatment. The 500-page publication was
developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute of Mental Health
(NIMH) under the guidance of the Surgeon General. It notes that
"disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and eating disorders are
real illnesses that, if untreated, can be as disabling and serious as
cancer and heart disease in terms of premature death and lost
productivity." The report takes a life-span approach, considering
vulnerability to distinct forms of mental and behavioral disorders at
different stages of life as well as the impact of gender, culture,
and age on the diagnosis, course, and treatment of mental illness.
Users can read the full text of the report and the accompanying
tables and figures in HTML or .pdf formats at the Virtual Office of
the Surgeon General or one of three mirror sites. For more on the
report, please see the In The News section from this week's _Scout
Report for Social Sciences_.[MD]

> From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1999.


Eduardo Galeano

The new millennium is just around the corner.
Nothing to take too seriously:
After all, the year 2001 of the Christians
is the year 1379 of the Muslims,
the year 5114 of the Mayas
and the year 5762 of the Jews.
The new millennium is born on the 1st of January
thanks to a whim of the senators of the Roman Empire,
that one good day decided to break the tradition
that called for celebrating newyears at the beginning of Spring.
And the counting of years in the Christian era
comes from another whim:
One good day, the Pope in Rome decided to set a date to the birth of Jesus
although nobody really knows when he was born.
Time makes fun of the limits we invent for it
so as to make us believe that it (time) obeys us.
But the whole world celebrates and fears those limits.
It's just an invitation: millennia come and millennia go,
and the occasion is ripe for orators of inflamed speeches
to tell us about the fate of humanity,
and for doomsday preachers to announce the end of the world
and general chaos.
Meanwhile, time continues silently to tick towards eternity and mystery.
The truth is that nobody can resist: on a date like this one,
as arbitrary as it may be, we all feel the temptation
to ask ourselves how will the time that will be be.
And God knows how it will be.
We have only one certainty: in the 21st century, if we are still around,
we all will be people from last century, and worse,
we will be people from the last millennium.
Even if we cannot guess the time that will be,
we do at least have the right to imagine the time we want to be.
In 1948 and in 1976, the UN proclaimed long lists of human rights.
But most of humanity just has the right to see, to hear. and to remain
What about if we begin to practice the never proclaimed right to dream?
What about if we hallucinate for a short while?
Let's stare beyond infamy, let's guess another, possible world:
The air will be free of all poisons that come from human fears and
on the streets, the cars will be squashed by dogs;
people will not be driven by the automobile,
nor will they be programmed by computers,
nor will they be bought by supermarkets,
nor will they be watched by television sets;
the TV set will cease being the most important member of the family,
and will be treated like the washing machine or the iron;
people will work to live instead of live to work;
penal codes will include the crime of stupidity
that is committed by those who live to have or to earn,
instead of living just to live,
like the bird sings without knowing it is singing,
and like the child plays without knowing that it plays;
in no country will they imprison boys who refuse military service,
but rather those who do want to serve;
the economists will not call standard of living
what really is standard of consumption,
nor will they call quality of life what is quantity of things;
the cooks will cease believing that lobsters enjoy being boiled alive;
historians will stop believing that countries enjoy being invaded;
politicians will stop believing that the poor enjoy eating promises;
solemnity will cease being a virtue,
and nobody will take seriously anybody else
who cannot make fun of him/herself;
death and money will lose their magic powers,
and neither due to wealth or death alone will an SOB become virtuous and a
nobody will be considered a hero or dumb
for doing what he/she thinks is fair instead of doing what is most
convenient; the world will no longer be at war against the poor, but
and the military industry will have no choice but to declare bankruptcy;
food will not be a merchandise, nor communications a business,
because food and communication are human rights;
nobody will die of hunger, because nobody will have indigestion;
the street children will not be treated as if they were trash,
because there will be no street children;
rich kids will not be treated as if they were money,
because there will be no rich kids;
education will not be the privilege of those who can buy it;
police will not be the curse of those who cannot buy it;
justice and liberty, those siamese twins condemned to live separately, will
reunite, very closely, back to back;
a black woman will become president of Brasil,
and another black woman president of the US;
an indian woman will govern Guatemala and another, Peru;
in Argentina, the Women of the Plaza de Mayo will become examples, because
they refused to forget in the times of compulsory amnesia;
the Sacred Church will correct the errors in Moses' Tablets,
and the Sixth Commandment will mandate to celebrate the body;
the Church will also come up with another commandment
that God had forgotten:
You shall love nature, of which you are part;
the deserts of the world and of the soul will be reforested;
the desperate will be welcome and the lost will be found,
because they are the ones who despaired from so much waiting
and got lost from so much searching;
we will be contemporary neighbors
of all those who search for justice and beauty,
no matter where they were born, where they have lived,
and regardless of boundaries in the maps or in time;
perfection will continue to be the bored privilege of gods;
but in this crazy and tough world,
every night will be lived like it were the last
and every day will be lived like it were the first.

Free translation from the Spanish by Claudio Schuftan

20. Snow Crystals

        Information about the physics of snow crystals and
        snowflakes as well as the history of early scientific
        observations and photographs, how to take photos,
        various classification schemes, preserving snow
        crystals, ice crystal halos, and unusual forms of the
        snowflakes. There are also images of ice crystals grown
        in the lab. Related links are provided. - dl

Librarians' Index to the Internet

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